Only The Punctual Shall Receive Mental Health

Our first stop was the mental health clinic.

Intake Nurse: Why are you here? What drugs are you on? Are you homicidal?

Schmutzie: Crazy. Celexa. No.

Intake Nurse: It will be eight or nine months until you can see a psychiatrist here.

Schmutzie: [blinks, and then blinks again] What?

Intake Nurse: We're very busy. I see you missed your last appointment with your psychiatrist. I'm not going to put you on the list if you aren't going to show up.

Schmutzie: Of course I will show up. I need this.

Intake Nurse: Why didn't you go to your last appointment, then?

Schmutzie: That is none of your business. I will show up at the next one I am given, though.

Intake Nurse: But why didn't you show up?

Schmutzie: I just didn't. [grits teeth, wonders what about being crazy means that one has to be treated like they are in the principal's office in elementary school]

Intake Nurse: [levels her eyes at Schmutzie] As I said, we will have your file reviewed by a psychiatrist. He might review it more than three times before he decides to see you in about eight or nine months.

Schmutzie: [blinks, and then blinks again] Oh.

Intake Nurse: Or you can go to your medical doctor and see what he can do.

Schmutzie: He told me that this was all he could do.

Intake Nurse: This is what happens when you miss your appointment.

Schmutzie: [thinks bloody, fucking hell]


Our next stop was my medical doctor's office.

Dr. P: Why are you here now?

Schmutzie: I need you to refer me to that psychiatrist I did not want to see the last three times you tried to refer me to him because I was told by patients that he wasn't very good.

Dr. P: Why? You didn't want to see him before. And I see that you missed your appointment with that other psychiatrist?

Schmutzie: I missed the appointment, and now he won't see me until April, and the mental health clinic won't see me for eight or nine months. I have no choice but to see the guy you suggested.

Dr. P: But you missed your appointment. I won't set you up with him if you are not going to go.

Schmutzie: I missed one appointment. [grits teeth, wonders what about being crazy means that one has to be treated like they are in the principal's office in elementary school]

Dr. P: Why did you miss it?

Schmutzie: Because I did. I will show up at this next appointment unless I get hit by a bus on the way over, and I've already been hit by a bus, so that's really unlikely.

Dr. P: [levels his eyes at Schmutzie] Okay, I will do this for you, but he is a specialist, you know. It is very hard to get in to see them.

Schmutzie: [thinks bloody, fucking hell]


I am thirty-five-year-old with a history of just about everything but physical assault who is presently trying to get help for lifelong depression and anxiety. That's it. That's what I want. That's what I need. Miss ONE appointment, though, and your credibility as a psych patient is blown in these parts.

Doesn't this seem odd to you? When someone asks you if you are ever paranoid, and you tell them that, when it's bad, you worry that the government is using the electrical wiring in your walls to spy on you, it is prudent to help them get to the help they need. I think PARANOID DELUSION is something that makes a person a credible psych patient, NOT punctuality.

Maybe I'm wrong, though. Maybe psych patients are pathologically punctual. What do I know?

The The Impotence Of Proofreading

Grace In Small Things: Part 16 of 365